A Benalla man is thankful to Wintringham Homes for providing him with a roof over his head.October 3, 2012 5:55am
Minister Wendy Lovell, Member for Benalla Bill Sykes, Stephen Russell and Bryan from Wittringham Housing.
The name Wintringham Homes probably doesn’t mean a lot to most — but to local man Stephen Russell it is the difference between a roof over his head and life on the streets.
Mr Russell once had it all — a wife, family, a job and his health — but in a split second it was snatched from him, leaving him with little choice but to live in alleyways and under bridges for almost two decades.
Wintringham Homes was last week officially opened by Housing Minister Wendy Lovell, and Mr Russell shared his story about how vital the service has become.
‘‘I went from an existence to living a life,’’ he said of his improved circumstances.
While those who toured Mr Russell’s unit were moved by his emotional story, he says now he is getting his life back together.
‘‘I have started physio again, before that I gave up ’cause there was no point — but now I am giving it a real go,’’ Mr Russell said.
For Mr Russell the saddest part about living on the streets was not having a home for his three children and grandchildren to come home to.
‘‘I have one grandchild and another on the way, so I now have a home that they can come and visit me in — and they do as often as possible,’’ he said.
The 18 new Alexander Miller Estate Trust Homes in Benalla and Euroa came as a result of a joint partnership between the Department of Human Services and Wintringham Housing.
Minister Lovell said the homes, some of which are new and others redeveloped, are being made available to older residents and those who are disadvantaged in our community.
‘‘It’s important our older citizens who may be frail and have special requirements, have living arrangements to support them,’’ she said.
Upon hearing Mr Russell’s story, councillor Barb Alexander said it was ‘‘simply inspirational’’.
Member for Benalla Bill Sykes reinforced Cr Alexander’s claims and said if he had to swap rural living for town living, these homes would work a treat.
‘‘‘They have a country style, openness .
With a renewed sense of hope, Mr Russell sincerely thanked Minister Lovell for her commitment.
‘‘I am going to carry on and do the best I can,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s nothing I can’t do, I couldn’t be happier.’’
Workers from charitable organisation People Supporting People are warning Shepparton residents to keep an eye out for a woman falsely claiming to be collecting donations on their behalf.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
History is recorded to inspire the next generation, author John Northage said at the launch of, Mending the Goulburn Broken, in Shepparton last week.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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